It’s been a very busy couple of weeks but I couldn’t be more excited to bake bread. Our oven was finally fixed yesterday and it feels like I’m complete again. I also received my very own mini wood-fired portable pizza oven from Uuni and fired it up for the first time tonight. Definitely, a lot of work to do to make great pizza in it, but I’m also already dreaming up all the things I could bake with it.
I’m still debating exactly how to structure season 2 of the Bread Lab so expect more emails about that shortly. In the meantime, no one has actually picked up their full 8 loaf share so this week will be another in-between week.
There's some news about more collaborations and markets coming up soon, but I’ll have to wait until it’s all confirmed. Look out for more info soon!
This weeks loaf: Semolina Sesame
I asked my wife, Kat, what her favorite loaf I’ve made so far for the lab and she didn’t even hesitate to answer: Semolina. I also love the Semolina and it’s rich and mouth-watering aroma. It just reminds me of so many other things I love and works so well with such a wide variety of food. I recently purchased a big shipment of new grains to work with, one of which is whole Durum. Semolina is actually the sifted wheat middlings of Durum flour and tipo 00, the famed Italian pizza flour is also typically made with very fine Durum wheat. I’m excited to experiment in the future with this!
Recipe: A really good tomato sauce
Last time I made Semolina bread I sent my meatball recipe. This time, I’ll send the tomato sauce you should be making with it. This sauce is also just great on any pasta and is a cornerstone of my regular rotation. It’s really an amalgam of many different great sauce recipes (Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali, Frankies 457) but it is exactly what I always want whenever I’m craving something easy and comforting.
A shortcut is to take the mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion) roughly chopped and process them in a food processor until they're finely diced instead of chopping them by hand.
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4" rings
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4" slices
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 28oz can of good whole (not seasoned) tomatoes (San Marzano style)
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more for serving
- Pinch of fresh or dried herbs that are available (Basil in the summer, oregano in the winter)
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and cook slowly until it’s very brown (but not black, don’t you dare burn it). Add the carrots, celery, and onion and turn up the heat. Cook until the onion is translucent but not browned about 7 minutes.
Add the canned tomatoes with their juice and fill the can halfway with water and add to the pot. Stir vigorously, breaking up the whole tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer.
Simmer for at least 25 minutes, but up to an hour depending on how much time you have and what you’re using it for. For meatballs, add the meatballs to the pot after 30 minutes and keep cooking for another 30.
I also like to use an immersion blender to make the sauce a little smoother at this point, too, but you can also leave it very rustic.
Add the herbs in the last 10 minutes before serving.
Now Playing: Morgan Delt - Phase Zero Spotify
Not sure exactly how I landed on this weird contemporary neo-psych out of LA, but can’t say I’m sad about it? It’s sort of fit with these weird hot days of late, where you know its fall but why does it still feel like summer? Some really good sounds on this album and some catchy riffs that will make you want to put it on again.